How We Do It

Our agency has expanded and evolved as demand for our youth-led work has grown.
To keep lean and mean, we will focus our efforts on 5 integrated approaches:
(click to expand)

DIRECT DELIVERY: Young people leading their own development

direct deliveryToo many young people do not have access to the services, education and support that they need. But young people can help fill these gaps.

We professionally train and support young Volunteer Development Professionals to help spread knowledge, develop skills and address priority issues within their communities and countries. Through the direct delivery of these grassroots programmes we will provide structured, long-term interventions for 1,100,000 youth, improving their civic participation, livelihoods and sexual health.


In the Ugandan district of Karamoja, affected by decades of armed conflict, famine and extreme poverty, rural youth have proven their ability to lead peaceful development in their communities. Through an initial pilot programme, we professionally trained and supported 14 young Karimojong Volunteer Development Professionals who reached 3,365 young people, leading activities to engage their peers in conflict resolution and sexual reproductive health awareness, while establishing youth income-generating projects.

The results were hugely encouraging. We recorded:

  • a 45% increase in young males using condoms.
  • an 84% increase in young Karimojong reporting a greater capacity to respond to conflict.
  • a 36% increase in those reporting greater food security.
Find out what we our doing in our Country Programmes.

GENERATION OF LEADERSHIP: A network of thousands, Restless for life

generation of leadersThe young people we recruit, train and support in full-time professional opportunities are defined by a spirit and a drive that makes them natural leaders, and arguably the most valuable product of our work. There are already more than 16,000 Restless Development alumni worldwide. We want to support these young leaders at each stage of their careers to move up and into positions of influence where they can take our youth-led values to deliver change with and for others.


We launched a pioneering online network that connects former national and overseas volunteers, interns, staff and supporters worldwide. The network provides a platform for professional and personal development, enabling all those connected with Restless Development to access one another's career advice, contacts and stories. Based on a series of professional interviews and an online networking site designed just for us, our Network is a fantastic way for Restless Development supporters worldwide to stay connected and make the most of our community.

TAKE ACTION WITH our global Network.

SHAPING POLICY AND PRACTICE: Changing the way the world works

SHAPING POLICY AND PRACTICEYoung people are too often excluded from the policy-making procedures that directly affect their lives. We will get governments and policy-makers committed to creating an environment that recognises and supports the active role of young people in society at all levels.

We will show those who drive policy and development practices how they can meaningfully engage young people. We will form and participate in coalitions which engage government, donor and private sector actors in a sustained manner to ensure a clear youth agenda is being articulated, pursued and held to account.


In collaboration with Policy Forum, Restless Development organised a series of regional youth consultations in Tanzania involving 83 civil society organisations. This culminated in the first ever National Youth Consultation in Dar Es Salaam, facilitated by Restless Development.

We brought together 150 young men and women from across Tanzania for a two day workshop, providing an opportunity for youth representatives to input their views the issues affecting young people in Tanzania. From this event, nine youth representatives were then nominated to attend a national forum where they were able to propose recommendations.

Find out more about our Policy and Pratice work.

BUILDING A STRONGER YOUTH SECTOR: Supporting the youth-led movement

BSYSThere are 3 billion young people in the world. We can't reach them all on our own. Nor should we. We know there are many organisations out there that share our views on young people. If we work together and co-ordinate our efforts, we can have an exponential impact. We will search out other talented youth-led and youth-serving organisations. Over the next few years we will provide technical training and ongoing support to 250 youth-led and youth-serving civil society organisations, resulting in both an increase and improvement of their work with and for more than 1,000,000 young people on six continents.


Since 2009, Restless Development has been working in partnership with MTV Staying Alive Foundation (SAF) to deliver a Training & Capacity Building programme to organisations which they fund. All are innovative youth-led organisations implementing creative HIV awareness and prevention programmes across the globe.

This programme offers a residential 10-day training workshop delivered by our youthful, professional and technical staff in the first year of an organisation’s grant. The workshop focuses on the core areas of NGO operations – Strategy & Planning, Monitoring & Evaluation, Financial Management, Resource Mobilisation and Media & Marketing – enabling organisations to better plan, deliver, monitor and communicate their work. We then follow up with six months of tailored support delivered through our staff mentors. Organisations can also participate in a number of ‘top-up’ training workshops, including Leadership and People Management.

Find HOW WE DO IT IN our Country Programmes.

SHARING AND LEARNING: Showing how to do youth-led development


We are constantly experiencing how effective youth-led development models are, and how we need to improve them. Through our grassroots programmes we have a large and live base for research, development and innovation. We will capture and publish comprehensive guidelines research, tools and resources for youth-led development models specifically for use by government ministries, civil society organisations and international aid agencies. We are always keen for others to build on our work or learn from our successes and failures.


Restless Development Nepal country director Ravindra Shakrya has been elected in the Steering Committee of Association of INGOs (AIN). The AIN is a consortium of nearly 100 organisations, in which Restless Development has been a member since 1999. We were also elected to lead the Youth and Peace Working Group, a consortium of organisations forging links between young people and peace-building in Nepal. As well as adopting a new leadership role, Restless Development played a major part in the creation of a 5 year strategic plan which negotiated directly with Prime Minister regarding development policies and INGO issues. The network aims to support practice sharing and collaboration between members, whilst engaging in advocacy around key development policy issues.

To download our resources click here.




Restless Development is independent of any religious affiliation and political ideology.

We are the Youth Collective. If you believe in the power of young people, join our movement.